I AM SO STRESSED! Rewind to 5 years ago: Overworked, overtired, and stressed. I was a post-grad student and taking care of a terminally ill parent.
My dad had brain cancer and I was pretending that I was"okay" in my everyday interactions with people.
Drag myself out of bed, go to university, go to the hospital, come home to sleep. Repeat 😫.
I thought to myself, "fake it til you make it", but the reality was that my world was falling apart. And, oh, everything really did fall apart when my dad died.
I dropped out of my studies, my long-term relationship ended and I was stressed and anxious.
What on earth do?!? How do I get back on my feet?! How do I feel like myself again?! 😔
I tried therapy*, medication*, exercise, alternative therapies, essential oils, meditation and yoga (... just to name a few!). All of these helped in some way.
Fast forward 5 years to today: I feel great -- I am free of chronic stress and anxiety. To maintain this sense of calm and well-being, I still meditate daily, practice yoga and use essential oils to boost my mood or reduce the effect of stressors in my life.
While this is likely not the exactsame as your life's story, I know you can relate. STRESS: an endemic in our modern society 😵.
Here's what I learned and how you can apply the same techniques...
We often hear that to improve our health and well-being, we should take actions to reduce stress in our lives, reduce toxins in our bodies, and rest more. Implementing this advice can lead us to take action in our external world and is beneficial; however, we can take a look a little deeper into our internal world.
The body has its own mechanism to reduce stress, maintain wellbeing and health. We all have access to the powerful tool of meditation – sitting in stillness and observing our breath and thoughts, allowing us to become present in the moment.
🙏 Meditation can be defined as the progressive settling down of the mind into a field of silence (field of pure consciousness – the space between thoughts).
When we come into a deep, meditative state, our body has the ability to move toward homeostasis, where the hormones related to stress are reduced, toxins are cleared by the body, and we enter a restful state that can recharge our minds and bodies. In this restful meditative state, we also have the power to manifest our deepest desires into reality.
Spiritually speaking, the purpose of meditation is to reconnect us with our true essential nature; it is a journey of expanded mental awareness and spiritual development. That being said, along this journey of meditation we may experience practical benefits that may help us walk more calmly through life.
In our modern lives, we may experience stress due to work, family and monetary pressures, environmental conditions, and poor lifestyle and diet choices.
😊 Here are a few of the potential benefits of meditation**:
- relief from stress and anxiety by reducing the “flight or fight” response which decreases the production of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol,
- decreased blood pressure and hypertension,
- more efficient oxygen use by the body,
- more restful sleep,
- increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA,
- improved immunity.
💁 How to meditate:
- find a comfortable seated position and close your eyes or find a soft gaze,
- observe the breath and thoughts (awareness of, not control),
- introduce a mantra, observe the breath, gently focus your eyes on a candle flame or sit in silence (for example, to use a mantra, mentally say 'so' on the in-breath, 'hum' on the out-breath),
- ideally in the morning upon waking or afternoon before dinner for 15-20 mins 1-2x a day.
Thanks for taking the time to read,
Sylvia from Self Love Aromatherapy
PS: I'd love to hear from you! Comment below to let me know your experience with stress and/or meditation.
PPS: Did you know that our candle OM was specifically designed to enhance your meditation experience? I use soft, sweet notes of frankincense and sandalwood and other pure essential oils to guide you on a path of self-awareness, spiritual focus and toward an inward journey. See the link below.
* if you're suffering from stress or mental health challenges please see your trusted medical practitioner. All information in this email is meant as a guide and does not replace medical advice.
**see, for example, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131015094436.htm
Image by @muhammedsalah_